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Home > Newspaper Articles > 1956 > August 6 1956. Lakeland, FL.
CONCERT DATE: August 6 1956. Lakeland, FL.
The Rocket who Rocks n Rolls
by Elvalee Donaldson
August 2, 1956
It was just about a year ago when a nobody truck driver name of things, Elvis Aron Presley, rambled into a Memphis recording company with a warped, badly-strung guitar hanging on his shoulder.
His hair was long and saggy and his clothes were frayed and hung in funny bunches at the wrong places.
"Pardon ma'm," he said to the receptionist shyly, "I would like to sing."
The girl asked what kind of music he sang and he replied, "I can sing anything."
She didn't believe him and finally told him he could cut a record for $4.
That was the beginning for Elvis Presley, who is currently setting American music on fire with his lusting haunting voice, that leaps from an eerie wailing one moment to a gentle whispered sentiment the next moment.
The hero of rock and roll, Elvis himself, is going to be in Lakeland for three performances Monday.
On Louisiana Hayride
After his initial recordings for Sun Recording Company in Memphis, Elvis was signed to the Louisiana Hayride and finally worked up a 15 minute show. But for at least two months he put forth a commercial on the program.
Even the commercial go all the zip that Elvis could muster. It went something like this:
"You can get'em pipin hot after 4 p.m. You can get'em pipin hot after 4 p.m. You can get'em pipin hot. Southern Made Doughnuts hit the spot. You can get'em pipin hot after 4 p.m.
In November, 1955, RCA-Victor signed Elvis and paid $35,000 for his contract and the master records of the five platters he had made. Contrary to their usual policy, RCA-Victor then re-issued the records and shortly they were breaking sales records.
A Few Nicknames
Anybody in the spotlight as much as Elvis Presley is bound to pick up a few nicknames along the way. He is no exception.
Since his television and personal appearances, "Elvis the Pelvis" has gained wide usage because of the wild gyrations which accompany his singing and guitar playing.
It is impossible for the young man to stand still and sing rock n roll. He says it shouldn't be sung without motion and claims all his wiggling only emphasizes the natural emotion which he feels.
Believes Critics Unjust
He also fells that the critics who criticize his movements are unjust when they label these movements "vulgar and suggestive."
"There's nothing sexy about the way Ah perform," he says, with innocent hazel eyes. "Ah just move like Ah feel."
Elvis is called the "Memphis Flash" because his hometown: "The Cat" because of his real gone clothes and cool, you know, hip behavior; "The Hoppin Hillbilly" because of his craazzy motions and "Mama Presley's Son" because of his devotion to his family.
He may be a natural. He may be a phony. But rock n rollers dig him, all the way.
Tomorrow: What's al the fuss between fans of Elvis Presley and fans of Pat Boone? Elvalee Donaldson reviews the "feud" for LEDGER readers, in another chapter on Presley's career. It is impossible for the young man to stand still and sing rock n roll. He says it shouldn't be sung without motion and claims all his wiggling only emphasizes the natural emotion which he feels.
Courtesy of Kurt Hinkle